We bought a new GM car in December of 07 and just bought another new GM car a couple of months ago.
I can’t comment much on the CARS program but a neighbor is running into problems with dealers who are not being responsive as the model that he wants is in short supply. At least one dealer is adding to the sticker price to compensate somewhat for the CARS discount which can be done with a model in short supply but I have no other details.
Both GM dealers treated us with flawless respect, no tricks, no games, no key hiding and the like. The reason is that GM will now occasionally send the customer who did buy a new car, a questionaire to report to GM on how the dealer treated the customer. Even one less than perfect answer will cause GM to come down on the dealer to get him to do better. When you leave with your new car, the dealer will ask you to give him a good report on the questionaire.
We were nothing but pleased with the treatment that we received from two different GM car dealers. This may sound like a commercial for GM but it is not, our treatment received was really good. Things are different now and GM finally may have the message, there are other brands for sale and customers do not have to put up with abuse.